#1620: Kilowog

KILOWOG

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

The cool thing about the Green Lantern concept is that it allows for a whole lot of different Green Lanterns.  Don’t like Hal Jordan?  You don’t have to!  Don’t like *any* of the Earth-bound GLs?  Well, you’re in luck, because there’s a wonderful assortment of non-human Lanterns to choose from.  One of my personal favorites (and a lot of people’s personal favorite, truth be told), is Kilowog, who I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kilowog was the build-a-figure Collect-N-Connect for Series 11 of DC Universe Classics.  The series was overall Green Lantern-themed, apart from one or two odds and ends, so Kilowog made sense.  It was only his third figure, and only his second in this scale.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  His mobility is mostly the same as the standard DCUC figures, but he’s missing any sort of lateral motion on his legs, which makes him a little stiff.  Nevertheless, it was certainly an improvement on both of his prior figures.  Kilowog was built on the bruiser CnC body, which was technically introduced with Brimstone (from the Public Enemies tie-in assortment), but was designed with both of them in mind.  It’s a pretty solid fit for Kilowog, apart from some slightly long arms.  It’s actually held up a bit better than the standard bodies.  It’s a shame that some of the elements, such as the more worked-in joints, never found their way into the smaller base bodies.  But, I guess that’s Mattel for you.  The character-specific parts, especially the head, are really solid sculpts.  The head has a lot of character and really nails Kilowog’s distinctive design, while also including some fantastic texturing on the exposes sections of skin.  The paintwork on Kilowog is on par with the rest of the figures from this era of the line, which is to say pretty good.  The basic colors are pretty bold, the application is clean, and there’s even some pretty decent accent work.  I might have liked a little more accenting on the head and neck, but it’s certainly serviceable as it is.  Kilowog included no accessories, but as essentially an accessory himself, it’s not terrible, especially since there’s not a ton to give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Assembling Kilowog was quite an endeavor.  DC Universe Classics were never particularly well distributed, and this series was no exception.  Katma Tui was the only figure I actually found at retail.  The others I pieced together slowly, over the course of almost a decade.  It was only last year that I actually finished him, with some help from both my brother Christian and my friends at Cosmic Comix, who found me the last two figures I needed to finally complete this guy.  I’m glad I did, because he’s perhaps the finest Collect-N-Connect this line offered, and just a favorite of mine in general.

Advertisements

#1251: Kilowog

KILOWOG

GREEN LANTERN: MOVIE (MATTEL)

You know how I rag on Mattel a lot, but sometimes they still do things right, and I can give them props?  This isn’t one of those times.

2011’s Green Lantern isn’t a particularly well-regarded film.  In a lot of ways, I don’t think it deserves a lot of the hate it gets.  It had the misfortune of being released in a summer already pretty jam-packed with super hero movies, three of which hailed from Marvel and were generally above expectations.  Marvel fans wanted another Iron Man (which, in their defense, is what DC was promoting the film as; not their smartest move) and DC fan’s wanted The Dark Knight.  The end result is really more in line with Tim Burton’s Batman movies.  It definitely could have been better, but it was far from awful.  One of the movie’s better aspects was its cast.  The late Michael Clarke Duncan made his second turn in super hero flick (his first being the similarly maligned Daredevil; I ain’t defending that one!), playing the GL drill sergeant Kilowog.  He got a few figures courtesy of Mattel’s tie-in line.  I’ll be looking at the standard version today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kilowog was released in the first series of Green Lantern figures, which hit about a month or so before the movie’s release.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 8 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on these figures was really strange; it’s not totally out of the ordinary to see lesser articulated figures in the 3 3/4-inch scale, but these figures randomly had extra shoulder joints, which tend to come after elbows and knees in the articulation hierarchy.  Also, while Hasbro’s started offering more lower POA figures as of late, their competing figures from 2011’s Thor and Captain America lines were fully articulated.  Heck, even Mattel’s own DC Infinite Heroes line was fairly decently articulation.  I’m not really sure why these figures were so out of sync with everything around them.  I’m getting distracted.  Sorry.  Kilowog had a unique sculpt initially, but it would eventually be reused for a number of variants as the line progressed.  It’s a reasonable translation of Kilowog’s movie design.  Of course, the problem with that is that his movie design wasn’t really their strongest.  I mean, it’s nice that he didn’t have the same muscle striation thing that Hal did, but he’s just for of lumpy looking.  Also, they seriously tweaked the shape of his head, which always bugged me; he looks more like Shrek than Kilowog.  Objectively speaking, the head on this figure was definitely the best part.  It’s actually so detailed that it looks rather out of place on the smooth and mostly featureless body.  They almost look like they belong to different figures.  Also, note that once again Mattel has made no attempt to work the articulation into the sculpt.  It’s especially bad at the waist, where there’s really no good reason to have a joint that obvious.  Like many of this line’s figures, Kilowog’s feet are bent back a little too far, which results in a lot of falling on his back.  Getting the two photos for this review was no small feat.  As far as paint, Kilowog was okay, but suffers from a very similar issue as with the sculpt.  The head has some very nice, very subtle work, which makes him look really lifelike.  Then the body seems to just let the paint go where it goes.  One thing that really frustrated me with this whole line was the inconsistency of the greens.  Pretty much ever lantern had their own shade, which was really odd, since that wasn’t true onscreen.  Was it really that hard to pick on pantone number and stick with it?  Each figure in the line included their own construct piece to slip over their ring hand.  Kilowog actually didn’t get a proper construct, but instead got the larger hand adapter piece, which allowed for him (and other larger figures) to make use of the constructs included with smaller figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up a handful of the GL movie figures when they were first released, during my pre-movie excitement, and Kilowog was one of those figures.  No figure in this line is particularly noteworthy, but Kilowog was probably the best the line had to offer.  He’s got his issues, but he’s also got some saving graces, which is more than can be said about a lot of the line.

#0959: Guy Gardner & Kilowog

GUY GARDNER & KILOWOG

DC MINIMATES

Guy&Kilowog1

Today, I’ll be taking another look at the somewhat sad tale of DC Minimates. The line was amazing when it was new, and showed a ton of promise. And then, after eight series, it ended, and despite lots and lots (I mean LOTS) of requests, there’s been no return in the eight years since its demise. As amazing as it seemed at the time, the failure of DC Minimates seems pretty obvious looking back. In a desperate attempt to play catch-up with Marvel (who had a 15 series lead at this point), DC Direct frontloaded the line, by putting just about every heavy hitter in the first three series. This presented a bit of a problem for later series, as finding anchor figures was no simple task. As such, Series 4 and 5 went more or less anchor-less, instead relying on characters who were stand-ins for the heavy hitters. One such example is today’s set, which features the original stand-in Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, along with everyone’s favorite Poozer trainer, Kilowog!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Guy and Kilowog were released in Series 5 of DC Minimates. Due to the prominence of the Green Lantern books at the time, they were probably the best known pair in Series 5. That’s probably a first for either of them.

GUY GARDNER

Guy&Kilowog2Guy Gardner was originally introduced as the “back-up” Green Lantern of sector 2814, who was supposed to take over for Hal Jordan, should anything bad happen to him. Presumably, this was only if Hal was incapacitated in some way other than death, though, since the comics have established that there’s a different process in place for replacing a dead Lantern. When he first appeared, Guy really wasn’t much different than Hal. Which kinda makes sense when you think about it. However, when they decided to have Guy be more than a one-shot wonder, his personality was changed, to make him a bit more unique. Also a bit more surly, cocky, and all-around less friendly. It was at this point that Guy got a new, more ‘80s vintage design, which is the basis of this Minimate. The figure is a little shy of 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. He has 7 add-on pieces for is hair, vest, belt, boots, and the edges of his gloves. The wristbands, belt, and boots were re-used from a number of earlier figures, but the hair and vest are unique to Guy. They’re a pretty good approximation of Guy’s look in the comics, though the hair feels like it could use a touch more detail work. Guy’s paintwork is fairly straight forward. His colors are pretty well chosen, and the details are all nice and sharp. His face does seem just a touch high on the head, causing the eyebrows to be covered by the hair. Guy was packed with a smaller lantern power battery, the same as Hal’s.

KILOWOG

Guy&Kilowog3Kilowog is a surprisingly recent addition to the Green Lantern mythos, first showing up in the late ‘80s. He was around for less than a decade, before being killed by Hal Jordan during the horribly written Emerald Twilight. He then spent another decade or so being dead, but was brought back to life a few years before Green Lantern: Rebirth restored the GL Corps to its former glory. Despite being out of the game for quite a while, Kilowog is still one of the most prominent Green Lanterns. Kilowog uses his post-Rebirth design, which was mostly based on his DCAU look. The figure is built on the larger 2 ½ inch base body, since he was a pretty sizeable guy. It’s a little odd to see this body nowadays, but it’s not too bad for Kilowog. He has a unique head, which, aside from seeming a little squat, is a pretty good fit. He also has a bulkier add-on piece for his torso, which makes him a bit more imposing than some of the others to use the larger body. Though it has no character specific details, Kilowog was the only figure to use it. Kilowog’s paint isn’t too far removed from what Guy has. He uses all the same shades and such, which is good for consistency’s sake. His logo is slightly different than the ones seen on Guy and Hal, which is nice, since Kilowog sports his modern design. Kilowog was packed with a larger power battery (re-used from DCD’s Pocket Heroes line).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like every set in the DC Minimates line, I picked these two up from Cosmic Comix the week they were released. As both a Green Lantern geek and a Minimates geek, I was pretty excited for these two. That being said, neither of them is super stand out. I mean, they’re solid ‘mates, especially for the time, but they don’t do anything particularly noteworthy…which is probably why the pegwarmed pretty hard. Not bad little figures, though.